Warren asks Fed nominee to clarify policy stances
WASHINGTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., took aim at the policy views held by White House economic adviser Judy Shelton, asking the Federal Reserve Board nominee to clarify her stances on several issues.
Shelton, an adviser to President Trump since before he took office, was officially nominated this week to fill one of two spots on the Fed's board of governors.
In a letter addressed to Shelton Thursday, Warren — a presidential candidate — cited some of the positions Shelton has expressed that have sparked controversy, including favoring a return to some form of the gold standard and suggestions that the Fed ought to work more closely with Congress and the White House.
"These comments raise serious questions about your understanding of the Fed's operations and your commitment to carrying out its mission," Warren wrote.
Shelton's nomination is the latest attempt by the Trump administration to fill the Fed's empty seats after other possible choices floated by the president — including onetime presidential nominee Herman Cain and Trump economic adviser Stephen Moore — failed to drum up enough support in the Senate.
Warren posed a series of questions to Shelton, asking the nominee to clarify her views on the gold standard, the necessity of federal deposit insurance and what a "coordinated relationship" between the Fed, White House and Congress would mean for the board's independence. Warren also asked the economist to articulate what she believed caused the financial crisis in 2008.
Shelton could receive pushback from Congress about her past advocacy of the gold standard, which is largely seen as far outside mainstream economics.
Shelton has also been criticized in recent months for shifting political stances, including on low interest rates.
"These and many other statements you have made in your public career strongly suggest that you lack the capacity to exercise the care, consistency, and political independence expected of members of the Board of Governors by policymakers and the American public across the political spectrum," Warren wrote.